While we’re very open about Community Forklift’s nonprofit mission to keep usable items out of the landfill and redistribute them to the community, some of those items in the reuse warehouse are not as forthcoming!

Item: Hand-painted dining set with six chairs and two leaves
Secret: This is the item that inspired this blog post! See those tiles inlaid on the top of the table? They’re actually not tiles at all, but rather painted sections of the wooden table top! The top is actually grooved between “tiles” to make the effect even more realistic.

Item: Drexel serving cart
Secret: This one’s got a few secrets! This Drexel cart has a flip-top that expands the surface area for serving. It’s also on wheels, which are hidden at the bottom. And while the hardware is a giveaway, the cabinet doors are camouflaged by the awesome panels on the front.

Item: Leather ottoman
Secret: This leather ottoman is actually … [drumroll please] … a SLEEPER ottoman! The split cushion on top slides up to reveal a single bed. Plus, the matching sofa is a queen pull-out. Lots of sleepover potential here!

Item: Not a lamp
Secret: I love this quirky item. What looks like a lamp with square bell shade is actually a candle sitting on a stand! I mean, it still gives off light, but probably a little less than its electrified counterpart.

Item: Antique Mantel Bookcase
Secret: While at first glance this bookcase could be mistaken for a fireplace mantel, this built-in’s secret is in its construction. The bookcase is made of solid tiger-oak wood! The exterior has been refinished, but you can still see the beautiful wood grain on the inside.

Item: Victrola Case
Secret: The secret on this Victrola case is kind of important to its function. The top panel on the front of the case is actually a series of louvers that can be opened to adjust the sound of the machine. This particular case is without a Victrola, but with some DIY work it would make a great bar or storage cabinet!

Item: Sewing Machines
Secret: These four tables all have flip-up tops that reveal their sewing machines! While this secret is a fairly common one, these pieces of furniture are still a lot of fun. All four still have their machines, and some also have little drawers for accessories!


Every time you donate or shop at Community Forklift, you’re helping us lift up local communities through reuse.  We turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.